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NCAA Tournament: UConn Women’s Basketball Demolishes Albany, 116-55

The Huskies advance to the second round with a record-setting win.

Ian Bethune - The UConn Blog

The UConn women’s basketball team dominated 16-seed Albany, 116-55, in their opening round game of the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies’ 116 points are the most scored ever in the first round of the NCAA tournament and the most UConn has scored in any game since 2010.

The Huskies jumped out to an early 7-0 lead but Albany held tough despite being overmatched. The Great Danes found open looks from three but could not hit them as they failed to keep up with UConn’s high-powered attack.

The Huskies dominated in the paint offensively. In the first quarter alone, Napheesa Collier and Gabby Williams combined for 23 points on 8-of-8 shooting. Collier finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds while Williams added 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

The pace picked up through the first quarter as UConn flourished in transition. Defensively, the Huskies switched to a full-court press which forced Albany into more turnovers while the Great Danes’ emphasis on the offensive glass opened up the deep pass down the court.

In the second quarter, Albany continued to fight even if the deficit continued to mount. However, they lost their punch once Imani Tate was forced to the bench with her third foul. Tate had 10 of Albany’s 32 first half points and her absence opened the door for UConn to pull away.

The Huskies ended the first half on a 6-0 run and carried that momentum straight into the second half, scoring nine straight points in the first 1:09. UConn also locked down defensively, allowing just 12 points in the third quarter. The game quickly got out of hand and the Huskies came away with a 62-point victory, their 108th in a row.

After playing with a minute limit throughout the AAC Tournament, Kia Nurse appeared to be back to form after nearly two weeks off. She played 24 minutes and caught fire from deep, hitting a career-high 6 threes en route to a team-high 24 points.

Crystal Dangerfield gave the Huskies a big spark off the bench with 16 points, going 4-of-7 from three. Nurse’s injury gave Dangerfield an opportunity to build her game and she has taken full advantage. If she continues to give the Huskies good minutes off the bench, they will be difficult to beat.

With the win, UConn advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they will face #8 Syracuse who beat #9 Iowa State, 85-65. The game is set for Monday, and the game will tip-off at 6:30 p.m.

Geno Auriemma, Gabby Williams & Napheesa Collier Postgame:

Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Saniya Chong, Crystal Dangerfield Postgame:

Photo gallery and video by Ian Bethune for The UConn Blog.